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The Talented Mr. Ripley

Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
Director: Anthony Minghella
Genre: Thriller
Year: 1999
Rating: 1 / 5

Reviewed by Guest Scribe Jules

Here is all you need to know: the best things about The Talented Mr. Ripley are the locations and the soundtrack. The worst thing about this film is that, although it hovered on the edge of being intolerable, it never quite crossed the line. Therefore, I was compelled to stay for the entire 139 minutes in order to see how it turned out. I wish someone had spared me the trouble.

At this point, a good question might be why I was drawn in the first place to a film about a psychopathic killer who assumed the identity of his victim. There is no good answer. Perhaps, as the clever, manipulative film trailer-makers hope, I was drawn in by the glossy short cuts of beautiful people in Italy, having a great time, and some suspense on the side. While The Talented Mr. Ripley delivered on beautiful shots of Italy, it failed on all other counts, including suspense, as the only suspenseful part of the movie was waiting to see when it would end.

For those who wish to ignore the truth, and see this movie regardless, some points about the plot. Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) is a bathroom attendant (a job which has thankfully died out in all but the most luxurious of hotels) who is offered the opportunity of a lifetime: travel to the Italian coast - all expenses paid - and convince a millionaire's playboy son to return home to Pittsburgh or some such heart-of-America town. Understandably, Ripley becomes fascinated by the rich man's lifestyle, as Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) and Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow) prance around the quaint Italian landscape by boat or by foot, smiling all the while. Jealousy and a host of other elements prove to be a recipe for murder, and the audience is forced to watch as Ripley's character unravels to reveal what can only be described as a seriously insane and brutal individual - a man with no redeeming qualities. Perhaps some might enjoy watching such a spectacle, but for the rest, here is a warning to save eight dollars, and 139 minutes, and avoid the mistake this viewer made.

Matt Damon..........Tom Ripley
Gwyneth Paltrow..........Marge Sherwood
Jude Law..........Dickie Greenleaf
Cate Blanchett..........Meredith Logue
Philip Seymour Hoffman..........Freddie Miles

Certification: Rated R for violence and language.
Running Time: 139 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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